Seasons' Finale

As The Four Seasons closes this week, writers and diners say farewell

New York restaurants open and close constantly. It's a signature of the city's dining scene that few make the long-term  cut. This week, one of the most significant restaurants to be in that club, The Four Seasons—which opened in 1959 and hosted President Kennedy, the Dalai Lama, Aretha Franklin and just about every important person in publishing and New York power-brokering in the latter half of the 20th century—will serve its last meal.

It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of The Four Seasons in the development of New York as a city and a dining capital. Taking stock, former New York Times critic William Grimes writes:

Grimes isn't the only one to mourn the closure. New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo writes:

Diners have also been paying the restaurant a final visit: 

  

Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder, who have overseen the restaurant for the past 21 years will auction off everything from inside the restaurant, down to the plates, on July 26. The pair have promised that they will reopen five minutes away, but no location's been announced. In the meantime, Major Food Group, which runs Carbone, Dirty French and other palaces of extravagant dining, will take up residence late this year or early next year.